Reading roundup 29/05/19

This week I read two books and started on a third. The first was a long-awaited book by one of my favourite authors, the second a quick ebook read. I will tell you about the third next week when I have, hopefully, finished it!

A Book of Bones by John Connolly

I had been in a long queue for A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker #17), by John Connolly before I picked it up the other week. My Library allows reservations in advance of the book arriving in stock. I am not sure how many copies the County bought, but it did take a while for it to become available for me to collect.  Mind you, I really don’t care about the wait as using the Library saved me £20, less the £1 reservation fee.

Anyway, here is the blurb:

He is our best hope.

He is our last hope.

On lonely moor in the northeast of England, the body of a young woman is discovered near the site of a vanished church. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.

Each is a sacrifice, a summons.

And something in the darkness has heard the call.

But another is coming: Parker the hunter, the avenger. From the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast this world into darkness.

Parker fears no evil.

But evil fears him . . .

I took my time over reading this as I tend to read very quickly, skimming over some parts. As this series is so special to me, I wanted to savour every page – over 700 of them! Sadly, though, in the end I was rather disappointed. Here is my review on Goodreads with an award of four stars (I usually give this series five!):

I realise that I am in a tiny minority on here with my opinion of this book. John Connolly as the author and this book series, are amongst my most favourite reading experiences of all. So, I looked forward to reading the book and I read it slowly and thoroughly, taking my time to enjoy every word. But, I am so sad to say, the book just didn’t resonate for me like the previous ones in the series. It is difficult to explain why without giving away spoilers.

I just felt that the tale was told from too many points of view. Some strands became difficult to follow and were perhaps cluttering up the narrative. Charlie and his “team” were not present enough and I felt that the reader was distracted by too many other characters. Of course this series is full of bloody and gruesome deaths, but some in this particular book were superfluous and almost as if the author wished to deliberately toy with his readers. By this I mean that he manipulated us as readers into empathising with certain characters, only to dispose of them in unnecessarily cruel and rather sadistic ways, in my very humble opinion.

I am certain that I will continue to read more books in the series, but I hope that the next one goes back to the very best that I know Connolly can produce.

One thing that I forgot to write in my review was that I enjoyed the fact that a lot of the story was set in England, although the author made a couple of historical errors. One of which was that Saxons lived on these islands before the Romans came – don’t think so!

The Disappeared by CJ Box

I still felt quite overwhelmed after finishing A Book of Bones, so decided to have a change of pace to something easier to read. CJ Box is another author who has created a very long series. My latest read in his Joe Pickett series, #18 The Disappeared, popped into my library ebook account this week. This is the blurb:

Wyoming’s new governor isn’t sure what to make of Joe Pickett, but he has a job for him that is extremely delicate. Three British executives, all women, never came home from the high-end guest ranch they were visiting, and the British Embassy is pressing hard. Pickett knows that happens sometimes–these ranches are stocked with handsome young cowboys, and “ranch romances” aren’t uncommon. But three disappearances? That’s too many.

At the same time, with the help of his friend Nate Romanowski, he’s been called to investigate the killings of several bald and golden eagles–a serious federal crime. The more he investigates both cases, the more someone wants him to go away. Is it because of the missing woman or the dead eagles? Or are they somehow connected? The answers, when they come, will be even worse than he’d imagined.

I finished this book very very quickly and wrote the following three star review:

Wow! The ending was so abrupt in this book! I really didn’t enjoy how that cliffhanger was created. I usually love this series: the main characters are generally likeable and the central investigation is interesting set in a really well-drawn background. This time it simply wasn’t good enough. It all felt very samey. Also, is the author getting money for his name-dropping adverts for clothing and footwear?

Yes, we get that the author doesn’t like politicians or most government employees, apart from Joe himself. I don’t think he likes most Brits either! I will read more in the series, probably, but I think he probably needs to move on to something new.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Now that I have finished those two books, I am reading the final book in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor trilogy: Holy Sister. I will let you know how I get on next week.

Happy Reading to you all!

Best wishes,


About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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